HEADING SOUTH TOWARDS AUCKLAND

I awoke early this morning – because I was cold – must find out where I stowed the blankets many months ago.  It’s surprising that things can be hard to find on such a small boat.

As today is a moving day an early start was not a bad thing.  After a life restoring cup of tea I walked to the local store and bought some fresh bread and milk.  Then to the marina office to check out.  The Bay of Islands Marina is a top-quality establishment and one of the best marinas I have stopped at – anywhere.  They have good, clean, modern, facilities and a very helpful staff – thanks for making my stay enjoyable.

Shortly after checking out I was letting go of the ropes from the berth and heading around to the fuel dock to bunker some diesel.  After bunkering I caught the last of the ebb tide out into the bay.

The weather forecast was for Northerly winds but they didn’t arrive until late afternoon and then not strong enough to sail.  So, it was motoring all day.  At first we had overcast skies and intermittent rain and drizzle.  Then after lunch the sky brightened and we had a glorious afternoon.

After rolling around Cape Brett I could see the coast laid out to the horizon – excellent visibility.  The sea was alive with bird life, dolphins, sea lions and I assume plenty of fish.  We continued motoring and just after six in the evening entered Tutakaka Harbour to anchor for the night.

Tomorrow I will continue heading south and call into Whangarei on the way.  Ngozi is driving up from Auckland and we will meet up on Sunday at the town dock.  I am looking forward to that.

REST, RECUPERATION AND TIDY UP IN OPUA

Today was dedicated to clean up and chores on board Truce and taking it easy.  In beautiful calm sunny weather, I set about tidying the boat.  Stowing all the bits and bobs that I had been using on passage and stashed in the quarter berth for convenience and ease of access from the cockpit.

On the passage from Tonga we used the engine far more than usual to get through the extensive calm patches.  All the running meant that the scheduled one-hundred-and-fifty-hour oil change became due sooner than expected.  Changing the oil isn’t a job I like, it’s always messy sucking the old oil out of the dipstick hole.  With a bag full of rags, the job was accomplished and Mr Yanmar now has clean oil and a new oil filter to keep him happy for a while.

Another session at the laundry means that we have fresh bed linen and towels on board.  The last laundry session was in Honolulu and the supply of clean sheets and towels had been exhausted – laundry was definitely due.

I don’t know where the day went, time flies when your having fun, but soon it was happy hour and time for some refreshment.  I got myself cleaned up and headed down to the Opua Yacht Club – just a short walk away.  Nice to sit out on the deck overlooking the harbour as the sun goes down.  The sand-flies also enjoyed dining out on my body.

I was back on-board Truce in the early evening as I plan to sail south tomorrow.  I checked the weather, tides and put a course on the chart, with a list of available stops and shelters on the way.  Not sure yet where I will go tomorrow.  I am heading south down the coast towards Auckland, first I need to get around Cape Brett and then have an idea I may stop in Whangarei.  We shall see tomorrow how it plays out.